Suit filed over Sandy Hook-inspired law limiting gun rounds

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In this April 10, 2013 file photo, Jonathan Scalise, owner of Ammunition Storage Components, holds up a 10-round, left, and a 30-round magazine that his company manufacturers for the AR-15 rifle in New Britain, Conn. Gun rights supporters are suing Connecticut officials over part of a 2013 state gun control law passed after the Sandy Hook school shooting, saying it unconstitutionally bans people from loading more than 10 rounds of ammunition into their firearms. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 cites the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the ability of people to better defend themselves with more bullets in their guns. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Gun rights supporters are suing Connecticut officials over part of a 2013 state gun control law passed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, saying it unconstitutionally bans people from loading more than 10 rounds of ammunition into their firearms.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court cites the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the ability of people to better defend themselves with more bullets in their guns.

“Law abiding gun owners in Connecticut are left more susceptible to harm or death by being limited in their means of self-defense,” Holly Sullivan, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said in a written statement. “Criminals who are intent on doing harm will not follow this same law.”

The defense league, the Second Amendment Foundation and two Connecticut gun owners filed the lawsuit against Public Safety Commissioner James Rovella, state police Col. Stavros Mellekas and Chief State's Attorney Richard Colangelo Jr., none of whom were in their current jobs when the gun control law was passed.

“This is a legal process, in which they were named as a result of their current position,” said Brian Foley, a top aide to Rovella, who oversees state police. “We will work through this important process, unfortunately we cannot comment further.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that states can regulate firearms to protect public safety, said state Attorney General William Tong, whose office will defend state officials and the gun law.

“Commonsense gun violence prevention measures are clearly constitutional,” Tong said in a written statement. “Reasonable limits on high capacity magazines save lives. The vast majority of the American people support — and demand — these basic public safety measures.”

State officials passed some of the strictest gun control laws in the country after a gunman used an AR-15-style rifle to kill 20 young children and six educators at Sandy Hook in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012.